Online School Advice


Vritti Godani, Staff Writer

It is no secret that staying focused during online school can be difficult. Your phone is most likely less than five feet away from you, begging to be used. But you also happen to be in class, where you’re supposed to focus and take notes. There is nothing more annoying than the itching urge to pick up your phone when you see a notification pop up. We have all experienced moments when the teacher calls on you, and you wish you could pretend you were frozen, or when your teacher says, “This is really important,” and you realize you haven’t been paying attention at all. On top of that, trying to stay focused and not to fall asleep while confined to your room is also something I am sure all of us struggle with. Here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed when learning virtually: 

Using Google Calendar or Apple Reminders 

If you have an iPhone, check your screentime right now. It’s okay, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Throughout the past six months, many of us have developed an addiction to our phone, and it can be hard to remember what you are supposed to when you’re constantly on your phone. However, using the Reminders app (IOS) or Google Calendar can help you prioritize and stay on top of things.

Sophomore Allison Bernardini says, “Using the Reminders app has helped me more than I thought it would. I usually forget about things easily but using the app or any calendar app has motivated me to do my work.”

Notifications on these apps might interrupt your daily scheduled procrastination, but they remind you of things you forgot about and can also increase productivity. 

Setting a Routine 

Being quarantined is the new normal, and treating it like a six-month-long vacation isn’t going to benefit anyone. Setting a routine can help you get out of your comfort zone and doing tasks such as waking up at the same time every day and doing your homework at the same time every day can benefit you by maintaining a sense of stability and normalcy in your life which will also help you improve the quality of your work. 

Sophomore Melanie Borrayo says, “I didn’t really care about a routine until recently. Having a set routine has benefitted me because I feel more productive and have more time to do things I like since I usually get my school work done early.” 

Put Away Your Phone

Although this task is easier said than done, for obvious reasons, putting away your phone will definitely give your grades a boost. If you aren’t ready to put away your phone just yet, putting it on Do Not Disturb or keeping it more than ten feet away from you can also help because these settings make it less likely for you to go on your phone. 

Use Studying Methods 

Using studying methods while listening to white noise is a life-changer. My personal favorite method is the Pomodoro method, where you study for 25 or 50 minutes and take a five or ten-minute break. Every third break, however, is supposed to be 15 or 30 minutes. Listening to white noise instead of lyrical or even instrumental music helps me be more productive because I am not having a dance party every time “my song” comes on. Other studying methods I recommend are using color-coded notes, mind mapping, or simply using index cards or Quizlet. 

Have a Workspace That You Feel Motivated In

Having a workspace where I felt comfortable was really important to me because if I am not motivated, I am most likely not going to get work done. You can create your own workspace by adding new pens or pencils (they don’t need to be fancy) because nothing can top the feeling of breaking into a new pen or decorating your notebooks and folders with simple stickers or pretty writing. You can also add new decor to your desk. Adding plants and succulents has been scientifically proven to motivate you and put you in a better mood. 

Online school is hard for everyone, and none of us expected this, so remember to be nice and respect your teachers because this is not what they signed up for, and just like you, they’re trying their best to help you learn and succeed. Online school is going to be challenging, but hopefully, these tips will help you thrive.


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